iOS 7.1 Improves Performance for iPhone 4 Users

Last September, when Apple released iOS 7 to the public, the iPhone 4 was the oldest model supported by the operating system. However, many iPhone 4 users found their devices to be slow and unresponsive, something Apple was likely aware of because there were a number of iOS 7 features that didn't work at all on the iPhone 4, including Siri, AirDrop, AirPlay Mirroring, and a number of special effects across the user interface including parallax, some translucency effects, and live wallpapers.

Today, with the release of iOS 7.1, Apple has much improved the experience of iPhone 4 users on iOS 7, though not entirely back to what users saw in iOS 6.1.3. According to Ars Technica, there is a measurable improvement in iOS 7.1 across a number of native iOS apps, including the speed at which the apps open from the home screen:

iOS 7.1 Improvements

There's a measurable improvement over iOS 7.0 across all of these apps, some more noticeable than others. In a few instances, iOS 7.1 very nearly catches up with iOS 6.1.3, which is impressive given the gap between the two operating systems in some of these apps. It's not a complete recovery from the original iOS 7.0 release, but it's about as good as Apple can do with hardware this old. The small speed improvements are present throughout the operating system, and this makes the iPhone 4 feel more responsive than it did, if not always as responsive as it once was.

iOS 7.1 also helps with the UI jerkiness that was all over the place in 7.0. It's easiest to capture the difference in video—actions like launching apps or pulling up the Control Center shade are always visibly jerky in iOS 7.0, but they're smooth (or at least smoother) in the new update.

As Ars notes, iOS 7.1 may well be the final major iOS release for the iPhone 4, as Apple generally removes support for the last generation of iPhones when it releases a new operating system each year. Ars says iOS 7.1 makes the experience good enough that using the iPhone 4 is no longer "unbearable", but that there are "unmistakable" benefits to moving to a faster phone.

Top Rated Comments

Icaras Avatar
90 months ago
I never imagined that word would make it to a Mac rumors headline.
Score: 65 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jonyive4 Avatar
90 months ago
All we cared about:
Score: 61 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThunderSkunk Avatar
90 months ago
Glad to still be humming along on iOS6 here. Works fast, reliably, and looks a hundred times more polished. Maybe iOS 8 won't be another step backward.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Anti-Lucifer Avatar
90 months ago
Pathetic. You go from full textured iOS 6.1 to a slimmed down ugly arse flat kindergartner designed iOS 7 and yet your performance numbers are still quite crap.

Phone app from 0.67 to 1.83s. That's going from half a second to almost 2seconds. How is this anything to be proud of?!

The entire iOS 7 design team needs to be fired. You fire Scott forestall and that guy single handily created the best iPhone experience ever. But no, u fire him and keep a bunch of loony toon characters on board to create this atrocious mess.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dumastudetto Avatar
90 months ago
It's pretty amazing Apple can do this. Ask Samsung/HTC/Sony/Google/Nokia consumers what they get in terms of updates and they'll all have tales of woe and reasons why they are never buying a phone again from that OEM. Apple is quite remarkable the way they support old hardware and give consumers the best possible experience. And that's why we love them.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cmdrx3 Avatar
90 months ago
Worse thing I ever did was update to IOS 7. My 4S had no lag, stutters or stalls and IOS 7 put an end to that (as well as being butt fugly). Given the option, I would go back to IOS 6.1.2 rather than IOS 7.1 but it's an option I don't have.:mad:
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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